The 3-Step Process to Answering Even the Toughest Questions

Every now and then in business, you get blindsided by a hard question. How do you answer effectively on the spot? Anett Grant helps with a three-step process in an article for Fast Company.

Easy as ABC

Grant employs an “ABC approach.” A is for align. The idea of alignment when beginning your response is that you want to show that you understand the questioner’s concern. For instance, if someone asks, “Should you really be eating that cake after what happened last time?” you can begin by saying, “I understand that eating it last time was a bad idea, because I didn’t realize that cake was full of nuts and I’m deathly allergic…” After that, B is for bridge. This is where you try to reframe the questioner’s concern from your perspective. In this case, you might say, “However, I have thoroughly examined this cake, and I do not believe there are any nuts present in it.” Lastly, C is for categorize. This is where you sequentially list the reasons for your position, one at a time, in an effort to sound as rational as possible, even when your reasoning is a little shaky. To conclude the example, you might say, “I inspected a piece of cake that someone else cut and saw no nuts. I asked the person who brought the cake in if there were nuts, and she did not believe there were any. I sniffed and licked the frosting without any ill effects.” I suppose I could have contrived a less weird example, but you get the gist.

You can read the original article here:

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